Papillion La Vista offers STEM camp for girls

In the Classroom
Posted at 3:23 PM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 12:28:04-04

This week, fifth and sixth grade girls attended the Papillion-La Vista STEM Girls Explore summer camp at Papillion-La Vista South High School. 

Women engineers from the community as well as female high school students served as mentors as the girls learned about 3D printing and how to build mazes during the half-day camp.  

Those putting on the camp see it as important because of a gender gap in STEM careers. Women make up half of the total US college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce.

Just 15% of engineers are women. Sara Mechtenberg is in that small group. She says camps like this are important because you never know what could drive a girl's excitement for the field. "You never know what it's going to be. It could be the little mazes they're creating right now, or it could be aero-dynamics or maybe by having us here it'll be environmental engineering," Mechtenberg said. 

A couple of girls at the camp told us they are interested in science careers. "I really want to be a doctor or a nurse or on the science side, I probably want to be a geologist," Lily Thiessen said. Lilly Krebs told us, she'd like to possibly be a science college professor. 
One of the high school mentors hopes these girls realize their dreams, whatever they may be. "It makes me hopeful that more girls will enjoy STEM and more girls will love what they do and hopefully change the world."